The Raptors couldn’t match up with Denver’s talented lineup and lost 113-104 on Wednesday night. Stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray held court after the game. Here’s what they and various Raptors had to say afterward:
DARKO RAJAKOVIC ON TRYING TO CONTAIN JOKIC:
“That’s Nikola Jokic. It’s nothing new in this league, it’s happening every single night. First half he was at nine points and second half, he got his game. We got in a little bit of a zone there to get some life against the second unit but once he came in the game he was really good at catching the ball and attacking and finishing in the paint. That’s Jokic every single night, 31 points, 15 rebounds, (six) assists, you know, so he did his job.”
WHY CAN’T HE BE STOPPED?
“That’s the thing, like every time when we came to help and overhelp, he found the right pass, he found his guys. Some of those shots they made, some of those they missed them, but the ball is always finding the right guy and open guy. We try to come from the top and just when he does that have great vision and he will just throw the ball to (a) wide open guy on the other side and it’s really hard. If you don’t help, he’s gonna score if you over-help and try to stop him, he’s gonna try to make the right play and find open man.”
ON SCOTTIE BARNES SHOWING UP BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REST?
“He did a great job. He was the one guy that first half that he had energy and then he was really fighting there. We were flat in the first half … I thought we won the second half but against this type of team you gotta have respect for them from the jump ball but we gotta have respect for ourselves from the jump ball and our energy was, for whatever reason, was not there. We got to be much better.”
ON JAKOB POELTL STRUGGLING?
“I think Jakob is a very, very good basketball player. Obviously last couple of games he did not play to his level. And I really, really believe that he’s gonna turn it around very quickly. I think he’s better than he’s performing right now. And I’m gonna talk to him and I’m gonna do everything I can in my power to help him to turn the corner be the Jakob that we know.”
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA ON THE LACK OF EFFORT IN THE FIRST HALF:
“That’s on us as players, we just gotta find away to accomplish that, I don’t know what type of motivation you need but we gotta do something to play 48 minutes of intense basketball. I can’t give you a logical reason right now. I honestly don’t have an answer to that question, it’s one of those things you don’t really have an answer to.”
JAMAL MURRAY ON HIS ONE VISIT HOME A YEAR:
“I think just the whole experience, from takeoff to landing. I get to see my family and my friends, playing in a familiar gym that I’ve been playing in growing up, even though I missed some easy shots today. Just the whole environment. I appreciate Toronto for having me on the scene and all that, just little stuff like that means a lot. Obviously, it’s good to come here and try to put on a show in front of my friends and family. It’s a blessing to be in this position.”
ON WATCHING CANADA COME THROUGH AT THE FIBA WORLD CUP WITHOUT HIM:
“Oh, it was amazing. For everybody, that’s a great accomplishment. That’s a country accomplishment. They did it for the country. I still showed up to training camp. I was still around the guys. I felt the vibe there. And they did a great job. And I think we’re on the come-up and we’ve got enough guys to go out there and compete for gold next year.”
STILL WANT TO PLAY FOR CANADA THIS SUMMER?
“Oh yeah, for sure, for sure, for sure”